By Leo Coughlin
Well, we've had a taste of winter and freeziness and the Bucs have retreated into the "Wait'll next year mode", (it was a terrible 2009 season, hey?), and in some quarters the eyes are on elections hereabouts.
Interesting times. There have been many emails of various and sundry interest, many of which could raise some hackles, but will go uncommented on and we'll just let the obvious speak for itself.
The year is too young to take on much character. The past, as always, is beyond function, and who knows what tomorrow (in the figurative sense) will bring.
So we'll just meander around a little and regain our sea legs.
Late January, verging on February, and the Super Bowl looms in two weeks; and a week later pitchers and catchers will be reporting; and then there is March Madness with the NCAA excitement; and then back into the long baseball season.
The March elections hold some interest. There's a gang running down in Belleair Beach for a couple of seats. The mayor's job is being contested in Indian Rocks Beach, with Don House, (loser in a previous outing for a commission seat), challenging R.B. Johnson.
A meet the candidates night has been scheduled at the IRB City Hall this coming Monday (February 1). These gatherings have been well attended by the electorate in the past.
A group in Clearwater is doing the same thing the same night bringing candidates there together in an "Election Forum" at the Salvation Army Joy Center on Druid Road.
Clearwater candidates are Wayne Crothers, Bill Jonson, Joe Paige, Herb Quintero, Paul Gibson, and Mike Riordon.
Four candidates will be scrapping in March for three City Council seats in Belleair Beach. Vying for two-year terms are David Dumville and Mitch Krach, both incumbents. In the race are J. Clarke McNeace and Leslie Ford Notaro. Dick Crowl stepped down from his seat.
While the IRB officials have been wrestling with neighbors complaints about noises emanating from nightclubs, (one person's music is another person's nuisance, or something), Commissioner Terry Hamilton-Wollin has been mounting a fight to protect a pair of ospreys who have taken up nesting on a pole near the Walsingham Road Bridge.
It's almost axiomatic that candidates for office make all kinds of promises while trying to entice voters, and then all that good stuff to be disappears once office is attained.
Not the case with Largo's Curtis Holmes, who is in his maiden term as a member of the City Commission. His war cry during his successful election campaign last fall was that his thinking "was outside the box".
He has followed through on that with a very dynamic performance since taking office in November. Holmes' latest ideas are subjects of a story to be found today elsewhere in this newspaper.
The economy - everywhere - still totters and staggers with some glimpses of hope from time to time, the politics remain heated with 2008's party of victory seemingly now the party of disaster, confusion, and hysteria.
New faces appear on the scene, bringing the anticipation of excitement. Old faces persist with voices sometimes that grow tiresome and seemingly useless. Then there are the old faces that reappear, and never seem to go away, no matter what.
C'est la vie.
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